Top 5 beaches at the Cote d' Azur
I’m back from the French Riviera! I really love the South of France, as you can tell by the billion times that I went there. I love the climate (normally…), I love the nature, I love the towns and cities, I love the beautiful beaches… I love it all.
Since I’ve been there over 30 times or s o (no idea how much exactly), I can tell you that I know a lot about the area. I went there in each season, with each kind of weather… I know a lot of pretty places there and I thought it’d be fun to share with you my favourite beaches in the area. My favourite places (so not only the beaches) are already in previous blogposts and in the shots on my socials.
All the shots are taken by myself, in different seasons! I love a good landscape shot!
The camera I use: my good old Nikon D5100. I have two lenses that I like to use, but for my landscaping (or hairstyle) shots I use my Nikkor 18-55mm lens.
Now let's get really onto the subject of this post. I'll start with telling you what I look for in a beach and on what aspects I base my opinion:
- nice sea views; I want to have a wide view on the sea. I don’t like too small beaches, where you can’t see much of the ocean.
- not too crowded beaches; I hate beaches where you have to reserve your place the day before, just to be able to have enough space for your stuff. I know that in Italy, there are beaches where people lay their towels down the day before, just to have a place on the beach the next day. This means that it’s possible not to find a spot on the beach, when you arrive.
- beach facilities: I bring my own foods and drinks but sometimes I just forget my food, or don’t bring enough… so I like to have some stores or beach bars, where I can find this all.
- not too windy beaches, but with a lot of big waves. I love swimming in the sea when there are a lot of waves. And when it’s too cold to swim, I love the just watch the waves for hours. The sound of the waves calms me down.
I don’t like too windy beaches, with the sand flying around everywhere…
I also love to watch a good storm. The power of our nature is so inspiring. It gives me so much fresh new energy.
- last but not least: parking places; in the South Of France during summertime, it’s not easy to find a parking spot… so I like to have beaches with enough places… Also a small insider’s info: DO NOT GO TO SAINT TROPEZ by car in the summer during the day. It doesn’t matter from where you come (east or west); the traffic is terrible everywhere. My tip: go to St Tropez by boat. Les Bateaux Verts are there every day of the year, during high season there’s enough boats per day and it’s not that expensive. If you don’t like boating you can always drive by car or with a scooter. I’d recommend to go there by car around 5p.m. This is the time in between traffic: people aren’t yet leaving the beaches (so there’s not much traffic). Also: the stores are open until 7-8p.m. so shopping late won’t be a problem. There are also a lot of stores open until midnight (like the KIWI store for example…).
So now on to the beaches that I love!
1) Saint Aygulf: my number one fave beach. On this beach, I can tick off everything from my list. Why? There’s a stunning beach view (plus view over the St Raphaël bay). There are palm trees on the beach, which gives the beach a more tropical, beautiful look.
You also have enough parking places. There are some shops to buy snacks. There’s often enough wind to cool you down, but not too much so that the sand ends up everywhere…in your bikini… And this also means: big waves! Yay!
The parking costs 4,50 euros a day, which isn’t cheap, but isn’t too pricy also. When you arrive before 10 a.m., it won’t be too hard to find a parking spot.
Also: there are free toilets on the beach!
2) La Nartelle: this beach is better for the off-season days. In the summer this beach is too crowded for me. When you go there not in the summer: the beach won’t be too crowded. The beach itself is a large, sandy beach with often big waves. My dog loves to play there with his ball. The beach is close to Sainte Maximes and Les Issambres but this beach is a lot prettier than the beaches of the towns themselves. There is also a parking next to the beach, which is pretty much empty during the low season.
3) Nice: The beach of Nice is probably the prettiest of them all, but not the most comfortable one. It’s not a sandy beach, but a beach with rocks. The rocks themselves are soft but sitting on them isn’t very comfy. I’d recommend to rent a chair or to bring your own chairs…
Because of the non-sandy beach, the water there is crystal clear in each season. And by the way, look at the colour of that water though. Isn’t it gorgeous? In Nice, there are a lot of parking places in the city itself, so in each season, you’ll be able to find your place. Also: Nice itself is a very lovely city to visit! So for a hot day in summer, you can go visit the city in the morning, and then take a dip in the sea in the afternoon.
Also a bit of insiders info: from Belgium (and around Europe), Nice is a city with a large airport and the tickets aren’t that expensive. Even in the summertime, if you search well, you’ll be able to find tickets at Easyjet for about 50 euros per person, per flight. Maybe this is a great idea for your next weekend getaway?
4) Pampelonne: The famous beach of Saint Tropez. This beach is actually not close to the town of Saint Tropez. It’s a couple of kilometres away from Saint Tropez. In the summer, the beach is like a tropical paradise. The water is very blue, the sand is totally white and there’s a lot of palm trees. The sad thing about the beach is the traffic...and the crowds on the beach and in the sea. But what you can do: go to the beach later during the day.. probably the best time would be around 4 p.m. The beach won't be too crowded anymore but it will still be pretty hot!
This shot was taken at 8 p.m. in the summer, still pretty at night as you can tell!
5) Cap d’ Antibes: The hike on the cap d’ Antibes itself is stunning. There you have white big rocks and a beautiful blue sea. In the winter you can see the snow in the mountains behind Nice. So pretty. There is also a lovely beach. The beach itself isn’t big, but the water is cristal clear and the sand is pale white. It looks like a litte paradise there and that’s why I love that place!
So these were my fave 5 beaches at the Riviera. Do you have a favourite beach there?
Ugh, I’m writing this post, just a couple of days after coming home from the trip, and I already feel like missing traveling. I just love getting away from home!
Have a fabulous weekend!